|May 10, 2005
Swiss Ski Team Train in Audi Wind Tunnel
It was a unique training session even for seasoned campaigner Bruno Kernen: The former Downhill World Champion traded the ski slopes for the Audi wind tunnel centre in Ingolstadt for a day to tease the last hundredths of a second from himself and his equipment in state-of-the-art conditions. The results, for both Kernen and his test mate Mirco Auer, were entirely positive. "It is an ideal opportunity to concentrate on the subtleties of the equipment away from the hustle and bustle of racing", explained the 32-year old Swiss.
Kernen and Auer reeled off an extensive programme, which lasted a day, under the direction of Karl Frehsner, consultant and project manager of Swiss Ski. The team was particularly impressed by the professionalism and especially from the low level of background noise during their first visit to Ingolstadt. No surprise, since the wind tunnel is regarded as the fastest and, at the same time, quietest wind machine in the world. The 2.6 Megawatt turbine produces wind speeds of up to 300 km/h but remains amazingly discreet in the process: At 160 km/h the volume is only 60 decibels - barely more than the clatter of a keyboard.
Incidentally, the Swiss ski aces are not the only world class athletes to have benefited from the Audi Wind Tunnel's know-how. The German Alpine skiers, the Nordic Combination stars competing with World Champion Ronny Ackermann or the Australian swimming star Ian Thorpe have also trained and tested new equipment in the state-of-the-art facility.